Current Position: Business Development Manager
Previous University: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
Undergraduate Degree: International Business Management
Q: Why did you choose international business as your field of study?
I’ve always been interested in learning from different cultures. I grew up in France and traveled to work in Malta at 18, which was challenging because my English was not strong yet, but I adjusted and had a wonderful time. Then at 21, I traveled to Malaysia to get my bachelor’s degree at Heriot-Watt, which was an intense culture difference—their perspective on life and work is entirely different from attitudes in Europe. That experience opened my eyes to global issues and challenges I hadn’t considered before.
Ultimately, specializing in international business was a way of combining my personal and career goals. I wanted to join a program where I could keep traveling and get acquainted with the international labor market—preferably in the United States, where I’d never been before, and where I might qualify for Optional Practical Training. Northeastern’s MS in International Management program fit my needs perfectly, especially with its emphasis on applying theoretical business strategy to real consulting cases.
Q: In your experience, what sets Northeastern apart from other schools?
A: The diversity of the student body is one of the school’s most significant value propositions, which I didn’t even realize before I came here. All the students I met were open and receptive to different cultures. The events that Northeastern organizes to get people together—seminars, workshops, networking events—were fantastic. They allowed me to connect with people and find my own way. And I found out that once you’re part of this community, you’ll always have meaningful connections no matter where you travel. The alumni are influential and actively involved, which is a huge benefit.
Q: How did your consulting project develop your skills?
A: An entrepreneur came and spoke to our emerging markets class; he was a biomedical engineer who wanted to create a business strategy for a life-saving medical product he had developed. He planned to market it in his home country of Ghana, where he saw the potential to reduce preterm infant mortality significantly. His story resonated with me, so I reached out to him after the class to see if I could consult for him.
To help him take his business from the research and development realm into the broader marketplace, I interviewed him to understand his company’s structure, his vision as CEO, and his long-term goals. I also researched everything I could about Ghana’s economy, politics, and culture, as well as the healthcare industry there. Then, I created an action plan that advised him how to enter the market, how to leverage his opportunities and strengths, whom to contact and partner with, how much time it would take, and the cost. I also defined tasks for each person’s role in the new business and explained how they could best achieve their goals. It was a great learning experience, because someday, I’d like to have my own company that operates internationally. Now I have a deeper understanding of the challenges an entrepreneur faces in the global marketplace.
Q: Has your degree made an impact on your career?
A: Yes—I just got promoted! After graduation, I took a customer service job with a French company in industrial lifting. The company knew that eventually I wanted to work directly with clients and solve their challenges, so they gradually gave me more responsibilities until I was ready for a more senior role. I’m now working in strategic business development in a very complex market with lots of players. It’s been only two years since I got my degree, and I’m already where I want to be professionally.
My experience at Northeastern gave me the self-confidence I needed to achieve this goal. I didn’t just think I could do it—I knew I could, and that I would do whatever it took to get there.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone considering the MS in International Management?
A: This program was amazing. It played a huge role in my personal development—I learned to sell myself, express my ambition clearly, and adapt to different cultures more easily. Now I have the mindset that if I want something, I can make it happen. If you join the program, be sure to make as many connections as possible and try new things to find the path that works for you. The faculty, staff, and alumni will support you every step of the way.
“My advice for prospective students would be to take advantage of the network you build during your time at Northeastern. And get to know everyone in the program; it makes learning much more enjoyable.”
“I knew I had both the expertise and experience to stand out because of my professional and personal experience while attending Northeastern.”
“After researching various options, I decided Northeastern would be the best fit because of its diverse and welcoming community. I wanted to be at a university where I could interact with and learn from peers with perspectives and experiences that differ from mine…I’m glad I have the chance to do this at Northeastern.”